Archaeological treasure near Stolac: Discover the mysteries of the Illyrian city

Not even an hour away from Mostar is the mysterious city of the Daorsa tribe that lived from 300 to 50 BC in the valley of the Neretva River.

The beautiful weather lured many Bosnians and Herzegovinans to nature. In search of interesting and close locations, the road took us to Daorson.

Unfairly overlooked 

The capital of the Hellenized Illyrian tribe of Daorsa is indeed an attractive tourist location, yet unfairly neglected. Not even an hour away from Mostar is the mysterious city of the Daorsa tribe that lived from 300 to 50 BC in the valley of the Neretva River.

Daorson is a real little paradise for all history and archeology lovers, and the remains of the ancient city are hidden in Ošanjići, near Stolac. Remains that defy time and stand proudly as a testimony of a past life and time.

The city was made up of three units, the central one of which was the fortress – the acropolis, which was surrounded by ‘cyclopean’ walls made of huge stone blocks. As described, it housed all important administrative, public and religious facilities.

The defensive wall running from southwest to northeast was 65 m long, 4.2 m wide, and between 4.5 and 7.5 m high, with gates and towers at both ends.

The Daorsi used the Greek language and alphabet, and the remains of numerous amphorae for wine and pieces of fine ceramics were found on the site of the ancient city. The most valuable find is a bronze helmet decorated with a series of Greek characters: Aphrodite, Nike, Helios, Dionysus, Muse, Pegasus and others, and the inscription on it is similar to the inscription on the helmet found in Macedonia.

Secluded and special 

Since 2003, the archaeological area of ​​the Hellenistic city of Daorson in Ošanići near Stolac has been declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it seems that even 20 years later, citizens’ awareness of its uniqueness and importance has not fully taken root.

It is an ideal place for a day trip. Hidden enough, yet easily accessible. The mere fact that you are standing on the site of an ancient city that was the capital of the Daorsa tribe three thousand years ago is enough to make you feel special. It doesn’t take away from the stunning view from the viewpoint.

However, it is a sad fact that this locality, like many others in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is not sufficiently recognized and popularized.

If by any chance Daorson “sprung up” on the territory of any other European country, it would probably be a real tourist attraction. But perhaps the secretiveness is exactly what gives it a special charm.

Secluded and special, without big advertisements and announcements, without lines of tourists and entrance fees. Daorson awaits you, a reminder of transience.